Can you honestly say you understand the reality of a grieving parent’s life or what to do or say to them?
Many will not have any idea – or they relay the idealised response of what media currently serve up. Can you imagine the death of your child and you are left in a society that then avoids you because of this tragedy and has no idea how to help? Or worse, for many fair weather folk, this is put in the “too hard basket”. Society underestimates the severely traumatising effect it has in avoiding grieving parents/siblings or assuming they know how to respond.
This horrific gap in knowledge and passiveness within society must change for those parents and siblings who grieve. I tackle this critical issue head on, dismantling what is simply convenient for others, without fear of retribution. I cannot pass by that which I cannot accept. Because now I am one of them. I am a parent who must face my life after enduring the death of my 12 year old son.
ASK THE GRIEVING PARENT WHAT THEY NEED. WHAT SHOULD BE AVOIDED. LISTEN, AND TRULY HEAR THEM.
When a parent is grieving they are emotionally fighting for their lives. You don’t go into an ICU unit and randomly take out and readjust tubes of a patient physically fighting for their life. The ‘stab in the dark’ , random approach to parental grief by communities and professionals from every sector must end and instead listen to the enduring reality of a parents grief, without trying to define it into a palatable and medicalised model which does not reflect the truth. The reality is that Yes. Absolutely. There is no one way to grieve or one approach to grief. There are as many ways to grieve as their are parents on this planet. And yet society still compares and attempts to put it into a palatable time-defined framework. What I can tell you is my story. My grief. My shock. My pain. However in living this, I know as individual as it is, there are fundamental and critical issues stemming from ignorance, which ALL grieving parents and siblings are forced to endure everyday.
“NO PESSIMIST EVER DISCOVERED THE SECRET OF THE STARS, OR SAILED TO AN UNCHARTED LAND, OR OPENED A NEW DOORWAY FOR THE HUMAN SPIRIT.” Helen Keller